INEX focusses on bespoke process development for customers requiring MEMS and specialist electronic device solutions offering uncompromising performance.
This often involves the development of novel process and sample handling solutions, such as those required to fabricate electronic devices in electronic grade single crystal diamond plates of area 3.6x3.6 mm2 and thickness 100 microns.
A key differentiator of a multi-material, multi-project foundry, however, is its accumulated know-how and extensive process library which can be rapidly adapted to meet novel customer demands without major development effort. This 'adapt and re-use' capability of experienced foundries is a key factor in the observed continuing reduction in development time and increased reliability of new MEMS devices and products.
As a general rule, customers fund the development of new and novel processes, but in turn leverage the know-how and extensive process library developed within previous contracts with other customers.
In addition to an extensive process library, INEX has developed key technologies such as through wafer vias, wafer level (including multi-level) wafer bonding for wafer level packaging, comb drives, optical quality plasma-etched waveguide structures, and RF circuit components such as MEMS switches, high isolation transmission line cross-overs, resistors, capacitors, inductors, and power splitters.
The corresponding process modules and functional components can be integrated to enable rapid development of complex application specific devices and circuits.
Use of the INEX toolbox of 3D-RF MEMS processes to the fabrication of a reconfigurable notch filter for adaptive ultra wideband radar and electronic warfare applications is described in the corresponding brochure.
INEX has developed a suite of diamond semiconductor processes enabling the fabrication of high power and high frequency electronic devices in intrinsic and boron doped diamond. Similar processes have been developed for the fabrication of high power GaN devices.
For applications in the biological sciences, INEX has developed waveguide deposition and optical quality plasma etch process modules utilised for example in the production of a disposable interferometer for real-time behavioural and binding studies of biomolecules.
INEX through wafer deep silicon etch technology is applied in the fabrication of through vias but also for the release of complex fragile devices such as neural implant electrodes.
INEX understands the material choice restrictions, microfabrication, and surface functionalisation requirements of devices destined for medical and biological sciences applications, and is able to perform sophisticated functional testing of devices on site.
The above represent a snapshot of the breadth of research, development and production contracts performed for over 70 customers since the formation of INEX in late 2002. Many more technologies, process modules, and components are available, and potential customers are encouraged to discuss their specific interests and requirements with INEX staff in the UK or business development representatives in Asia and North America.